By Robert Farmer
From any perspective, the fires of late October in Southern California were terrible. The firestorms that engulfed California’s southland and burned hundreds of thousands of acres of open land a private property gripped the nation for solid week. And in the aftermath as the damage is being assessed and people are returning to the soul-searching devastation of having lost everything they own, it is becoming clear just how great an impact these events have had. So please don’t misinterpret my meaning when I decry the loss of some agriculture. Believe me when I say such losses are trivial in the scheme of things. And so it was, as a rabid avocado advocate that I was disheartened to learn that the fires of Southern California had torched a third of the state’s avocado crop. And no sooner had I come to terms with that than did my mind turn to the many great wineries of San Diego County. Since the fires have been contained, it seems the good news is most SD County vines were spared the havoc. According to reports in San Diego’s North County Times, wineries in the fire-stricken areas were by and large spared extensive damage. Still, Orfila Winery in Escondido lost about 200 of its 25,000 vines—something everyone will surely agree is a nominal loss. The real good news is that fires are now out. So let’s all raise a glass to that.